Gobi or Shamo Desert A wild, arid region of mountains and sandy plains which was once fertile land and in part the site of a former inland sea or lake on which was the "Sacred Island" where the "Sons of Will and Yoga," the elect of the third root-race, took refuge when the daityas prevailed over the devas and humanity became black with sin. It has been called by the Chinese the Sea of Knowledge, and tradition says that the descendants of the holy refugees still inhabit an oasis "in the dreadful wildernesses of the great Desert of Gobi, now the fabled Sambhala" (SD 2:220). This region was transformed into a sea for the last time ten or twelve thousand years ago; a local cataclysm drained off the waters southward and westward, leaving the present conditions. It is also said that the events connected with the drying up of the Gobi region are associated with allegories of wars between the good and evil forces and the "systematic persecution of the Prophets of the Right Path by those of the Left" which led the world into materialistic forms of thought.
The Gobi (; , , "semidesert"; ) is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Taklamakan Desert to the West, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, and by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is most notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, and as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road.